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Topic Which Statement Best Describes “Lean”?

Which Statement Best Describes “Lean”?

Home Forums General Forums Training Which Statement Best Describes “Lean”?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Mike Carnell 1 year, 4 months ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #599528 Reply


    Thanks in advance for your help.
    I’m working towards my Green Belt exam and have a question which i don’t know the answer to.

    Which statement best describes ‘Lean’
    1) Fire employees
    2) Give people more work
    3) Eliminate variation in your process
    4) Produce at the rate of customer demand

    Seems like a basic question but I though it was Six sigma that was about eliminating waste, so is it the produce at the rate of customer demand?

    Thanks again!!
    John P

    #599571 Reply

    Why would producing at the rate of customer demand translate into eliminating waste? One could meet a customer demand schedule and generate all kinds of waste in the course of meeting that demand.

    #599581 Reply

    oh okay, thank yo.

    So you’re saying the answer is ‘3- eliminate variation in a process’?


    #599698 Reply

    Sounds like a plan to me.

    #599745 Reply

    Great! thanks for your help Robert.

    #600260 Reply

    @rbutler loved the input.

    I don’t like any of the answers…is this homework?

    #600357 Reply

    @cseider – me either, but #3 is the best pick of a bad litter. :-)

    #600828 Reply

    @johnpeters123 – none of these statements “best describes Lean.” Lean is about eliminating waste. While producing at the rate of customer demand is called Takt time, which is a component of a lean production system, it isn’t specifically Lean. Likewise, reducing variation is a fundamental aspect of Six Sigma, but doesn’t necessarily mean that the reduction in variation is actually eliminating waste. Only if the variation was outside of acceptable levels would this reduction be eliminating waste. If the amount of variation is acceptable to the customer, the additional costs included to reduce that variation could be considered waste of its own kind.

    This is a very poorly crafted question. Good luck in explaining that to the instructor.

    #601918 Reply

    @MBBinWI Nicely answered, my friend and colleague.

    #602014 Reply

    Thank you all for your help!

    #602169 Reply

    @johnpeters123 – if possible, query your questioner about why they think their answer is correct, and please post back here. It would be interesting to know their rationale. I have an hypothesis that the preparers of these tests are becoming less and less knowledgeable about the subject matter.

    #602170 Reply

    I agree that this is a poorly crafted question. Shame on them. As with most multiple-guess you can eliminate some that are just plain wrong. So the question is whether 3 or 4 is a better description of Lean. When I run into one of these I ask myself what the people who wrote and approved the question were probably thinking, not what I think is the right answer. They were probably thinking that reducing variation is more six sigma than lean, so I’d pick 4.

    #605150 Reply

    @johnpeters123 I am going to agree with @Straydog for the reason @MBBinWI stated. #4 is takt time which is basic to TPS (which everyone seems to have confused with Lean). That is the number which sets the infamous “drumbeat” they want your production line to run at (dangling participle). The waste aspect is when your line runs the same as the customer you don’t build FG inventory. The issue is that Lean practioners like to use averages and ignore variation so when they calculate Takt Time it is an average and with the distribution around the time and ignoring the defect rate then it is more often than not a disaster that seems to be beyond they comprehension since they don’t mention anything about the variation in the output when they train people.

    As for Variation reduction #3 that would be part of TPS (the third step Continuous Improvement) which Lean has chosen to ignore.

    If you take Lean to where it is evolving today, 5S only, then none of the answers fit.

    Just my opinion

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